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Trivia / Star Trek: Nemesis

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  • Box Office Bomb: More in the sense of how high-profile its failure was, but it still made a fairly significant loss; its estimated production and marketing costs were supposedly in the region of $90 million, and it only made about $60 million worldwide. The fact that Paramount pitted the film against a murderer's row of blockbusters did it no favors, leading it to be the only Star Trek film to not open at number one at the US box office, losing to Maid in Manhattan of all things.
  • B-Team Sequel:
    • Jonathan Frakes would have liked to direct, but he was busy with Clockstoppers.
    • LeVar Burton was also considered as director (he had since ST:TNG directed many episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, and seemed a shoo-in to be 'called up' like Frakes had been), but Paramount went over Berman's head and installed Stuart Baird as director.
    • Nicholas Meyer was originally offered the director's chair, but turned it down because Rick Berman wouldn't allow him to make any serious changes to the script.
  • The Cast Showoff: The Argo chase scene was put in because of Patrick Stewart's love of dune buggy racing. He did all the driving except the exit and first sharp turn.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Stuart Baird looked to be carving out a decent career as an action director after Executive Decision and U.S. Marshals — until the failure of Nemesis killed his directing career stone cold dead. To this day, Baird maintains a steady film editing career.
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    • The film's failure proved the beginning of the end for producer Rick Berman, who never worked on another film again, and was Kicked Upstairs on Star Trek: Enterprise a little while later. Following the end of that series, he hasn't been credited as a writer or producer on anything of any description.
    • Screenwriter John Logan's stock in Hollywood also dipped significantly following the failure of both this film, the same year's The Time Machine remake, and DreamWorks Animation's Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas in 2003. Apart from The Last Samurai and The Aviator, both of which were already in production when Nemesis was released, it would be another five years before one of his screenplays were filmed.
    • Tom Hardy became suicidal after the failure of this film and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with what he thought was the end of his career. He spent years working through his demons and taking on smaller, but critically acclaimed, projects to truly become a global star.
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  • Deleted Role: Steven Culp was supposed to appear as Commander Martin Madden, Picard's new first officer, in the end, but he was cut out. Culp would later play MACO Major Hayes on Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Deleted Scene: It's been estimated that 50 minutes of footage was cut from the theatrical version. (Eight scenes were included on the DVD as extras.) Among the deleted material:
    • Beverly's intention to leave the Enterprise for a post at Starfleet Medical.
    • Wesley's cameo, in which he mentions that he'll be part of Riker's engineering crew aboard the USS Titan.
    • Worf saying being an ambassador (see DS9) didn't suit him.
    • Picard experiencing Cloning Blues, outraged there was a clone of him running around. He's talked down by Crusher.
    • A second Mind Rape scene for Troi.
    • Worf and Geordi going through Data's things—the former reluctantly taking in Spot.
    • The introduction of the ship's new first officer, Commander Madden.
    • A closing scene where the Enterprise has been fully repaired and ready to embark on a new exploration mission.
  • Dueling Movies: With The Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Die Another Day. Curb-Stomp Battle doesn't even begin to describe how this film fared in that little competition.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Averted. Jonathan Frakes (whose body hair is legendary in Trek circles) refused to shave his back for his love scene with Marina Sirtis, necessitating it being removed digitally in post-production.
  • Franchise Killer: Ultimately averted, but for the better part of a decade it looked like the Trek franchise was as good as dead, in no small part due to this movie. At the very least it killed off the TNG movie series along with almost everything TNG related (the prequel comic to the Star Trek reboot involves some of the TNG crew), and put the entire 24th century branch of the franchise (including Deep Space Nine and Voyager) on ice until 2019, when two new series were finally greenlit- the comedic Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard.
  • Old Shame:
    • Tom Hardy said that this film (and more specifically, the fact that it was a critical and commercial flop) was the worst thing that ever happened to him, and nearly killed his career before it got off the ground. To this day, he still refuses to talk about Nemesis in any significant detail. LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden have also made no secret of the fact that they hate this movie.
    • Sirtis' segment in this video is very telling. Those being interviewed are supposed to be Selling the Show, but Sirtis can't keep her irritation with director Stuart Baird's approach under wraps. Given her and other cast members' description of Baird's actions, her annoyance is completely understandable.
    • Michael Dorn was upset at how little Worf got to do in the film.
    • Notably averted with Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner, who said they enjoyed working with Stuart Baird on the film.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The death of Data tries and fails to mirror a similar moment in The Wrath of Khan. Hell, even the main villain feels like a poor man's Khan.
    • Picard beaming over alone to the enemy ship to confront the cheesy villain and blow up the Applied Phlebotinum of Doom sure sounds familiar...
    • In all of the TNG movies, it's often Picard who goes alone to confront the villain (aside from Generations, where he gets royally schooled before recruiting Kirk to help him).
    • The finale featuring the Enterprise facing off against an experimental ship that can fire while cloaked is taken from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
    • Also, the Enterprise battling in a nebula that disrupts some major systems is from Star Trek II.
  • Recycled Set: Averted. First Contact and Insurrection had used modified sets from Star Trek: Voyager. But VOY ended its run a year before the film was released and the sets had been scrapped. Aside from stored sets like the Bridge and Main Engineering, new sets had to be built from scratch for the Enterprise-E (ex. Sickbay). Additionally the Valdore bridge set was a redress of the Enterprise bridge.
  • Refitted for Sequel: The Valdore-type Warbirds resemble the early concept drawings for the D'deridex warbirds seen on TNG. Star Trek: Armada, made 2 years earlier, had the Raptor class ships which resembled the Valdore.
  • Screwed by the Network: In two different ways. Firstly, when they installed Stuart Baird as director over any number of more qualified candidates. And secondly when they decided to release it days before The Two Towers, and with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Die Another Day still in the midst of strong box-office runs, turning what would likely have still been an underwhelming box-office performance into one of the most notorious flops in the history of any major franchise.
  • Similarly Named Works: The film shares its title with an episode of Star Trek: Voyager and the final issue of the comic book series Star Trek: Early Voyages.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Nemesis was supposed to be Tom Hardy's Star-Making Role as Shinzon, but Nemesis nearly killed his career (and him along with it!), until Inception nearly a decade later. This was also one of two films from 2002, with Adam Sandler/Dana Carvey's The Master of Disguise being the other, that delivered a nasty punch to the career of Brent Spiner.
  • Troubled Production: Downplayed, surprisingly enough. But enough things went wrong to have dire consequences for the franchise:
    • For the most part, writing and filming went pretty smoothly. Maybe a little too smoothly, however — Oscar-nominated writer John Logan was given Protection from Editors in his contract, and director Stuart Baird was only there for the paycheck, and so wasn't inclined to ask Logan for rewrites (Logan's contract meant Berman couldn't fire him or have the screenplay rewritten without his permission, but there was nothing stopping Berman, Baird or the studio just asking him to change the script).
    • There were also some conflicts between Baird and the cast, mostly over Baird's unfamiliarity with the series, to the point where he mistakenly thought that Geordi was an alien instead of a human with artificial eye implants, and repeatedly mispronounced LeVar Burton's name as "Laverne" during filming, even after Burton had repeatedly tried to correct him. Marina Sirtis, while considering the film overall a slight improvement on Insurrection (as did Burton), didn't have too many kind words to say about Baird afterwards, and even Stewart and Frakes, while liking him personally, later admitted him to be a poor fit for the series.
    • What few character scenes were in the film were deleted by Baird during editing, in order to emphasize the action sequences, resulting in the Big Bad's original introductory scene and most of the Enterprise crew's character moments being deleted, to the point where Dr. Crusher doesn't even get a single line after the final battle commences.
    • It was after production had finished where things started to go wrong; the film's screenplay was leaked, and heavily mocked by fans, and then the trailers hit, confirming said screenplay had been used without any major revisions. When it was actually released, it got the worst reviews of any film in the series outside of The Final Frontier, being hit with a healthy amount of It's the Same, Now It Sucks! from critics, and also picking up some backlash from the tepid second season of Star Trek: Enterprise (which didn't do much to help the fortunes of Nemesis by airing the widely-despised episode "Precious Cargo" two days before Nemesis opened).
    • However, it was the choice of release date that sent things really, spectacularly downhill. 2002 had arguably the busiest Christmas release schedule of the modern era, with major franchise films such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Die Another Day, surprise hits such as Maid in Manhattan and The Santa Clause 2, and a whole host of Oscar Bait movies all vying for attention. However, it was one particular film that helped turn Nemesis into a Box Office Bomb of staggering proportions, namely The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which was released less than a week later. Having failed to beat the aforementioned Maid in Manhattan in its opening weekend, Nemesis experienced the worst second weekend of any major movie release in history until that point, dropping 76% of its intake, and then dropping out of the top ten altogether the following week, while flopping just as badly in foreign territories. It, along with the continued poor ratings of Enterprise (despite the show Growing the Beard the following year) ultimately proved the Franchise Killer for the Next Generation incarnation of Star Trek.
    • And it didn't end there. Tom Hardy, who played the film's villain, became so depressed over the film's critical and commercial failure that he descended into depression and drug abuse, not experiencing a Career Resurrection until Inception nearly eight years later. To this day, Hardy dislikes talking about Nemesis in significant detail.
  • Uncredited Role: Whoopi Goldberg went uncredited. Bryan Singer makes an unbilled cameo as a crewman.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Apparently, more than a third of the film (including most of the character moments and a great chunk of the expository dialogue) was cut before the final release.
    • The earliest version of the script was written so that Patrick Stewart would have been playing both Picard and Shinzon, and the final battle between the Enterprise and the Scimitar took place in orbit of Earth.
    • In addition, a later draft had the small armada waiting on the Romulan boarder joining in on the fight to have a six on one fight.
    • Following the release of Star Trek: Insurrection, Patrick Stewart commented in an interview that he thought that the next film should follow up on the "corrupt Admiral" subplot with a story in which the TNG crew had to confront massive corruption in Starfleet. Given Picard's established reaction to Starfleet officers who betray the ideals of the Federation, it is difficult to see how such a movie could have been anything other than awesome. 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness does contain some elements of Stewart's idea.
    • Jude Law was originally considered to play Shinzon. James Marsters was also considered, but he was busy with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Jeri Ryan was supposed to appear as Seven of Nine, but she was busy on Boston Public, so Kate Mulgrew was given the cameo appearance as Janeway instead.
    • Rick Berman tried to get an 11th film with a script written by Band of Brothers screenwriter Erik Jendresen off the ground, but Nemesis was such the flop it never took off, and Berman was let go by Paramount in 2006.
    • Brent Spiner and John Logan had their own idea, co-writing a sequel that would've been a full Crossover with the casts of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but the failure of Nemesis shelved those plans.
    • As late as the shooting script, the Scimitar was supposed to have its warp core on the bridge, so that Data could destroy the ship at the climax by shooting it. Technical consultant Rick Sternbach pointed out that not only was this taking No OSHA Compliance up to ridiculous levels, but Romulan starships are supposed to use different reactors which likely wouldn't go boom just by shooting them. As a result, this was changed to the somewhat less ridiculous option of sticking the thalaron beam's generator there instead.
    • Riker originally had a Pre-Mortem One-Liner to the Remen viceroy ("Don't worry, hell is dark.") before kicking him to his death. Jonathan Frakes objected to it, feeling it was cold-blooded and Out of Character, but was initially overruled. It was only removed when the script leaked and the line was widely mocked by fans.
    • Geordi was supposed to have brought Dr. Leah Brahms (introduced as a holographic program from "Booby Trap", then the real woman for "Galaxy's Child") to the wedding, echoing the possible future from "All Good Things", which said that they ended up together. However, Susan Gibney, who played Leah, was unavailable, so the scene with Geordi and Guinan chatting was written instead.
    • Exposure to thalaron radiation was originally supposed to cause the flesh to melt from its victims' bones, but likely due to concerns that this would get the film slapped with an R-rating, it was changed to have the victims Taken for Granite instead.


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